Photo courtesy of Lindsey Wilson Athletics
Can we all admit from the players’ standpoint that spring practice, at any level, generally sucks?
There are 15 practices. All 15 consist of smacking your teammates around and nobody else. Coaches love spring practice as it is a great way to evaluate players heading into the summer, which leads to fall camp.
Even then, one of the three things on this list could make spring practices even better for coaches and their evaluations. So let’s get to it.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Be sure to leave feedback in the comments below to let us know if this would improve spring ball or not.
1. A Scrimmage Against Another Opponent
In the NAIA, you get 15 spring practices with the intrasquad scrimmage counting as one of those. How cool would it be if teams could add a spring game and play someone other than their teammates?
It wouldn’t have to be against another NAIA school necessarily, but a neighboring program with similar features. It isn’t uncommon for basketball programs to play these types of games before the start of their regular seasons. Football programs could as well.
As we mentioned above, teams already spend a majority of their spring practices beating up on their own teammates. They would prefer that at least past of their spring journey be spent smacking someone else.
This would help coaches with their evaluations and give an alternate measuring stick. Even if the scrimmages were controlled, this would be awesome to see in the spring.
2. Party after the Intrasquad Spring Game
For teams unable to get a scrimmage game with an opponent, they could at least treat their players right after a spring scrimmage. For many NAIA players, the end of spring is just putting up the gear and getting back to workouts. Spring can be a grueling process, and players deserve some celebration.
They don’t have to bring in Vanilla Ice for a concert and steaks, but something could be done. How awesome would it be after the spring game to have some awesome food waiting on you, and maybe a concert from a local talent?
Many major programs have some sort of entertainment for their spring game. Many NAIA coaches claim they have a Division I mentality. Here’s a chance to prove it. This could also be a good way to involve the community and/or campus and tighten relationships there as well.
3. Host a Combine Open to the Public
Most programs already do this to keep records, but it would be awesome for everyone to have their own little combine to track results. It would be something the fans would love to see.